Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Ribbed Wrap Top Dress

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

This Tracy Reese faux wrap dress looks like a great deal. It was $298 and now is on sale for $139. I like the really high waist and the fact that this looks like two pieces in one. I also like the pullover style. It’s a fun and interesting but easy dress that still looks polished. Most sizes are still in stock for now, and it’s $139 at Saks OFF5TH. Ribbed Wrap Top Dress

Here’s a plus-size option.

Psst: This cute $50 casual dress also looks great for the weekend.

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  1. Beach Prep :

    Hive, I need your help on sun exposure. I’m extremely fair and regularly got bad sunburns when I was younger so I’m trying to do better. I wear sunscreen daily and have several giant sun hats with good SPF ratings. My problem is the rest of my body when I’m out on the beach. I can wear a long sleeved coverup but they’re not pleasant to put back on after swimming and most don’t cover my legs. I try to reapply sunscreen, but it’s difficult when my body is wet and sandy. I really hate the idea of wearing pants at the beach. I know to avoid peak hours for UV exposure, but that’s not always possible. What do you wear or do to avoid too much sun at the beach?

    • Anonymous :

      Get a long-sleeved rashguard (great for swimming) and aerosol sunscreen so you don’t have to rub sunscreen into sandy skin.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Especially one with SPF fabric!

      • Anonymous :

        +100. I purchaed one from LLBean and never looked back! I wear it over my bikini. It is comfortable to swim in and dries quickly. I also wear it for 5Ks!

      • +1 the ones at Athleta are really cute.

        I also tend to agree with those who say just don’t go in the middle of the afternoon. Surely there’s something else you can do during those hours.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I wear a rash guard when swimming both for sun protection and also to keep myself “in place” in rough surf.

      • Yup, I transitioned to wearing long sleeve rash guard every time I am swimming in the sun, and have avoided sun burn on my shoulders that way. I especially like rash guards that you can hook a thumb into. I also use Neutrogena’s SPF 70+ spray sunscreen on all exposed areas.

    • You could try a rash guard for swimming to cover you upper body.

    • Anonymous :

      Sit under an umbrella. Rinse off before you get out of the water to minimize sand. Get over the ickiness and just apply sunscreen even if you are sandy. Spray helps.

    • Anonymous :

      You need to reapply your sunscreen and apply it 30 minutes before getting to the beach. In my friend group people always ask how I don’t get burnt and that is all I do, you just have to do it correctly even when you don’t want to.

      • grapefruit :

        +1 I always apply sunscreen at my house or in the hotel room before I actually leave for the beach.

      • grapefruit :

        Oh and apply that first round sunscreen (in your house) naked if you can. Then you really get everywhere without missing the edges of your suit or places where your suit might shift.

        • Flats Only :

          This. And then wait a good 5 minutes for it to absorb (I wash my face, brush teeth, etc.) so that when you put on your swimsuit or other clothes it doesn’t rub off. I bring a crewneck cotton T shirt with me, and if my shoulders and chest are getting too much sun I put it on. I’ve also occasionally draped a lightweight wrap over my legs if I can’t get them out of the sun. Spray sunscreen is great for touch ups, but can be a pain at the beach if it’s windy.

      • Oh, I wish this were enough. I also apply pre-beach, and then bring a big tube of 50 SPF, and reapply constantly – still get burnt. Some of us are just genetically inclined to fry. :(

        • grapefruit :

          Oh I hear ya! Those are just two of many tactics I use to avoid sizzling my white self. Others include avoiding the sun in peak hours as others mentioned, hiding under umbrellas or whatever other shade devices I can find, giant floppy hats, and draping thin pashminas over my legs.

          • Not all SPF 50 are created equal. You should use chemical sunscreen that is spf 70+ because it actually attaches to your skin, and will not rub off, and make sure you really slather. People say that above spf 50 it doesn’t make a difference because difference in sun protection is less than 3%. Being very fair, I have found that to be false, and that last 1% does make a difference for me. I personally prefer Neutrogena in silvery blue bottles, not in yellow or dark blue plastic bottles. I haven’t burned with it.

          • I definitely agree that they’re not all created equal. My skin is very sensitive to chemical sunscreen, so it’s really not an option for me. For some reason, the sunblock I bought and used when I was in Europe was incredibly effective. It was $30, so I used it sparingly, and I never burned once. I don’t think they were allowed to label things as more than 30 or 40 spf in Europe at the time. Wish I could remember what it was.

    • Towel off, and effectively apply aerosol sunscreen (meaning, 2-3 inches from body in sweeping motions, rub in for extra insurance). Be sure to get the most easily missed spots: the edges of your suit (bikini line, straps, chest), and armpits, tops of feet, tops of hands.

      Umbrellas are always a help!

    • Anonymous :

      Real talk – if you’re fair and you burn easily then you can’t sit on the beach in the middle of the day. Go early or in the mid-afternoon. Even sitting under an umbrella isn’t great because you’re still exposed to UV rays. A cabana is better because you’re more enclosed from all sides. But seriously just drink margaritas in a bar that overlooks the ocean from like noon to 4.

      • Anonymous :


        In the morning and late afternoon, get a Lands End swim shirt (or similar).

      • Another anon :

        Yup, this I am super fair and this is what I do. If I have to be out in bright sun in the middle of the day, I wear zinc-based sunscreen, a rashguard, and leggings.

      • +1 I am very fair, have a million freckles and there is skin cancer in my immediate family. I try not to spend time outside between 10 and 4, even on vacation. We normally snorkel in the early morning when the sea is calm, go to a nice brunch and then spend time in the room (ideally on a shaded balcony or with windows open so we can enjoy the sea breeze) and then go play in the waves in the late afternoon before going to dinner.

      • Yes. I burn very easily and cannot sit out in the sun all day at the beach. I take a beach tent and sit under that most of the time. I apply lots of sunscreen early and often, but still burn. I also wear a long sun shirt and sometimes long shorts too.

    • Beach Prep :

      Thanks for all the suggestions so far! I definitely need to stock up on aerosol sunscreen and invest in an umbrella (I’m probably the only person in the world who doesn’t own one).
      I’m thinking about getting some palazzo-style beach pants. Maybe if they’re linen or cotton they’ll be less uncomfortable to wear. Does anyone have a recommendation?

      • Anonymous :

        Wow! I can’t believd you haven’t been using an umbrella. It’s step one. Also you can buy beach chairs with built in umbrellas.

        • The beach chairs with built in umbrellas are probably better than nothing but I’d really get a free standing umbrella because they’re much larger. I have one of those chairs with built in umbrella and the coverage is not wide enough

      • Minnie Beebe :

        I also have fair skin and burn easily. You should absolutely use an umbrella or cabana. I always sit under something when I’m at the beach longer for maybe an hour. With my hat, sun shirt and pants on. (I’m that person!)

        I have a Patagonia sun shirt, with long sleeves and a hood. It’s light weight, easy to get on even over wet skin, dries easily. I just this year bought a pair of white linen palazzo-style pants at Old Navy, and they’re good enough for me, and cheap enough that I don’t care if they get gross.

        The Athleta shirts are also nice– I had one that got ruined (my fault!) and haven’t purchased a new one. But coverage is not as good as the Patagonia shirt.

        And yes to sunscreen applied before putting on the swimsuit (or just make sure to get sunscreen under all of your straps and edges. Reapply often while out there. I like Neutrogena SPF100– it does not rank well on the EWG list for safety, but it works well on my skin and successfully prevents me from getting burned.

        But really, staying in the shade as much as possible is the absolute best thing you can do.

      • Natural fabrics have pretty low sun protection. As such, you cannot rely on them. I would still use spf 70+ under any natural fabric. Fabrics with sun protections either have to be thick, or specially created for it synthetics.

    • Anonymous :

      Suck it up and towel off and reapply frequently even though it’s gross and sandy. Sit under an umbrella. Look into caftans and Mott 50 clothing options.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Off-the-wall, anectdata additional protective measure: spray tan. It is in no way, shape or form an excuse not to apply more sunscreen. However, I do find that in combination with my regular sunscreen/shade regimin, the spray tan does help protect my skin a little. Plus, I feel less inclined to want to tan when I’m already bronzed.

      • Anonymous :

        Omg are you this much of an idiot? Don’t talk. Don’t share. Your spray tan is not helping AT ALL with sun protection. Dear god.

        • Anonymous :

          Dude, you’re rude. There is a way to disagree without typing whatever came out of you just now.

          • I don’t care. This is completely idiotic and dangerous advice.

          • Yeah but… the person you’re responding to basically wrote out the reaction that was happening in my head at that comment. Like no spray tan does zero please do not spread misinformation. If you’re not getting burned with spray tan then it’s because you have been blessed with skin that doesn’t burn easily. At the same time though you’re masking the sun damage your skin is taking on – tan skin is damaged skin.

          • Nobody likes tone policing. Go away.

      • Anonymous :

        Sunless tanning products do not offer any protection from the sun.

      • I understand this – I think it’s the disinclination to even try to tan when you already are tan that makes them work. There’s nothing in them that protects from the sun, but the psychological effect can be very real in driving behavior.

      • A spray tan in no way protects you from the sun. It is, however, hiding any sun damage.

    • Lots of good advice here.

      I’d also start seeing a dermatologist once a year for a skin check. Bad sunburns as a child/young adult put you at higher risk for skin cancers later in life. And most skin cancers are easy to treat when caught early.

    • Umbrella

      • biglawanon :

        If you are flying somewhere for vacation, you can often buy these at local grocery/convenience stores (i.e., ABC in Hawaii) for very little – about $20? At the end of the trip, we try to find someone who wants it before we leave or just toss it.

    • I’m also fair and the only way I enjoy the beach is to actively apply sunscreen every hour and a half. Neutrogena has a sheer zinc that dries very well – and I coat my face, ears and neck with it.

      Rash guards with SPF are a must because my shoulders are often the hardest point hit. I love the Lands End rashies, but lately I’ve invested in the Under Armour UPF 50 Sunblock shirts. The weave is more comfortable throughout the day and I feel they dry faster. I wear the sunblock crops as my cover up to and from the beach and will slip them on if I tire of applying sunscreen.

      I bring a bottle of baby powder and a clean paint brush with me to combat the sand. It takes just a little bit of powder and the sand brushes off almost immediately. But honestly, I do not really enjoy lounging at the beach. The risk of sunburn is just too high and sunscreen for me is a job. I still enjoy the water but you will find me in a cabana or at the pool bar during most of the day.

      • +1

        This is me.

        I really don’t hang on the beach anymore. Also had lots of blistering sunburns as a child.

        If you can believe it, one of my (terrible) primary care doctors pointed to my acne on my chest/back and told me “a good sunburn will take care of that”. So what do you think I did? For years? Every summer. Unbelievable….

    • Suggestions for sunscreen that doesn’t kill coral? I read about this recently and need to further investigate, as some beaches apparently are banning certain sunscreens.

      I’m medium complected, don’t easily burn, but use SPF daily to protect my skin. A family member had skin cancer on his ears, and I want to avoid that.

      • When we go to the beach, we use the ThinkSport sunblock. Despite being a zinc based cream, it goes on pretty smoothly.

      • Badger sunscreen is non-nano zinc oxide. Like any zinc oxide based sunscreen, it is going to leave a bit of a white cast, but I find that rubbing it in takes it from Casper to just a slight white tint.

    • I do what everyone is saying (rash guard, longer baggy shorts, coverup, hat) but my number one priority is a beach umbrella. I have one In my car at all times. If I’m at a beach where you can rent an umbrella and someone will hammer it into the sand for you, that is my favorite beach. And on vacation I rent a cabana.

      I’m very fair, so is my husband, and he’s already had a (thankfully stage zero) melanoma cut out so I take this super seriously.

      • +1, I bought an umbrella and an umbrella stand that screws into the sand, and I leave them in my car during the summer. An umbrella makes a huge difference!

    • Pasty Melanoma Survivor :

      Mineral sunscreens will help. Chemical ones have to be absorbed (that’s why many of them say apply 15-30 mins before sun exposure). The technology is better now so you don’t always get the white & greasy zinc sunscreen but they’re the best. Also if you’re truly just out in the sun all day, the aerosol will not help you. You’re not ever going to use enough and get a solid enough application to truly avoid being burned if you’re not staying out of the sun in the worst parts of the day. Rash guards, big floppy hats, sunglasses and a massive umbrella will help but a spritz of a spray on sunscreen isn’t going to cut it.

      • Aerosol sunscreens are notoriously under-applied. Factor in the wind, and it’s not that useful. (Also, the stink stays in my clothes and does not wash out, unlike regular sunscreens.) I used to buy aerosols for convenience but IME, they really, really aren’t as good.

    • 1) How often are you going to the beach??
      2) Use a towel and then your legs won’t be wet and sandy. Problem solved.

      • Have to admit that towels are my friend at the beach. One over my shoulders, one on my legs when I’m sitting down. Feels more “beachy” than wearing long pants.

        And that’s towels over sunscreen and possibly a rash guard. And a hat–hate it when my scalp gets burned where I part my hair. I’m very fair-skinned and I keep having pre-cancerous things cut off my skin. I’m almost never outside between 10 am and 2 pm. If I have to be out, I’m protected as much as possible.

    • Sunscreen :

      I have similar skin, and the only sunscreen that truly works for me is Blue Lizard, an Australian product that is available on Amazon. I also second the Lands End (or other) rashguards.

    • Anonymous :

      I bring really light layering things like a sarong, a big gauzy caftan, a short gauzy cover up with long sleeves, etc. Someone will say they don’t have a high enough SPF, but they do help.

  2. Is this a magic unicorn? :

    What are your favorite cotton, non-thong, no/low VPL undies? Preferably in neutral skin colors. I’m currently liking the Aerie boybriefs, even with the thick leg opening binding, since they are not very visible under pants, but need to restock and wonder what other ones I should consider.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Hanky Panky has bikinis and boyshorts with lace trim that reduces VPL.

      • Soma Vanishing Edge briefs. Comes in lots of cuts and colors.

      • Not cotton, but Hanky Panky’s bare line eliminates VPL. They have hipsters and boyshorts, but the goodiva thong is more akin to a VS Cheeky than a thong.

    • I like the Soma Embraceable lace hipster. %hey aren’t cotton but they feel like they are and are breathable.

      • Housecounsel :

        Soma Vanishing Edge also!

        • +1

          I learned about Soma Vanishing Edge here and I really like them for no panty lines.

          I still have cotton bikinis from gap and Costco that I wear under jeans, but use the Somas for under work clothes, leggings/skinnies etc..

      • I like the soma embraceable lace too. The vanishing edge aren’t for everyone. They have a silicone strip at the edges and that stuff gives me red welts and all the itching.

        • Is this a magic unicorn? :

          That’s helpful, I had some with that silicon edge a while back and learned it does not play well with my skin. Does the Soma lace lay flat? VS lace edges seem to bunch and roll, making them very lumpy.

        • I normally like vanishing edge, but those things are torture if you wear them on a plane. More than once I have removed them in an airplane bathroom.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I know you said non-thong…but Hanky Panky original rise thong in one size IS a magical unicorn.

      • KateMiddletown :

        I just can’t bring myself to spend that much on underwear. I’m a cheapskate whose underwardrobe is built mostly from freebies from VS (and yes, I need to toss all the 4, 5, 6+ years old pairs but they’re the comfiest!)

        • Elegant Giraffe :

          Zappos will often have old prints/colors on sale, so give that a look. Also I used to wear the one size lacie thong from VS (that was a freebie) and the Hanky Panky is even better, if you can believe that.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I’m late, but I LOVE Natori Bliss underwear in the French cut and girl brief cuts. Cotton with a minimal, non-binding lace edge.

  3. adult acne scars on cheeks :

    I’ve had some hormonal acne recently as an adult and it’s left small red scars on my cheeks. Are there ways to get rid of this or reduce the prominence of them? I’m currently covering up with makeup and I’m on retinol for my acne anyway (but this hasn’t reduced the scarring at all). Is it a dermatologist issue or do I need to see a derm who does more cosmetic work? Maybe they’ll fade over time (like any ones from being a teen, which were more on my forehead / nose / chin).

    • BabyAssociate :

      I have similar scarring. If they’re just discoloration, my dermatologist suggested microneedling. If they’re more like ice pick scars, maybe look into Fraxel.

    • Are they scars (raised or ice pick) or simply discoloration? If discoloration I’d suggest adding in a vitamin C serum, a serum with niacinamide or using hydroquinone (Paula’s choice).
      If they are ice pick scars your dermatologist will probably suggest lasers of some sort, that’s just about the only way to help.
      Oh! And regularly using a dedicated sunscreen every single day will also help your skin recover faster since its not processing new sun damage.

    • It’s a combo of flat red scars and red ice picks. Thanks for the info.

    • I’ve had good results with Lactic acid from The Ordinary on my red scars. It has definitely made the indentations less noticeable.

    • Finacea (which is azelaic acid) is GREAT for fading scars like this. It also works for acne. Ask your derm.

    • I’m in a similar boat. Just for some comfort, long term higher-strength retinol use helped with my red discoloration and scars markedly. (I’m sure the improved moisturizing regime I needed from the retinol didn’t hurt either). If you’ve been using that for less than a year, I’d maybe suggest a wait and see approach before spending more money.

    • Blue Tansy :

      I had the same issue. Hormonal acne around the chin and jaw area and then when the acne would clear up it left really dark marks that just never went away. I started using Herbivore Blue Tansy face mask on the recommendation of a friend, and after a few months of using 3x a week my scarring was significantly reduced. I’ve been using it for a year now and it is almost completely gone. I don’t know what is in it that made it work, but my skin looks much better now. (I also will sometimes use the blue tansy facial oil, but mostly just the mask.)

  4. weight gain on the pill :

    I’m back on the pill (attempt by me and my gyn to rein in my very irregular cycles/bleeding). In the past, pill = 5-10 pound weight gain (or a mightly, mightly struggle to just maintain my regular weight). Any tips? It’s like my sense of fullness goes away a bit and my love of delicious food really settles in and enjoys itself. I work FT and have school-aged kids, so my ability to up the exercise as a fix is limited. I guess this is where we find out if abs are made in the kitchen or not :(

    • As I’ve gotten older, I find that I lose weight easier with a combination of not snacking between meals and having hard stops on my eating periods (intermittent fasting style). That way I can focus on making my meals enjoyable and filling without having to account for those extra 200 calories from various snacks. And, be comfortable with normal hunger pangs. They aren’t an emergency or permanent. It’s okay to be a little hungry before a meal. You will be able to eat, just not right now.

      • This. I’ve been tracking my food intake religiously the last couple of weeks to try and get a handle on my eating and have realized that I have an insane amount of “snacking” calories. Which end up adding up to more than some meals that I eat during the day. I’m working on pre-planning snacks and moderating what I eat for snacks (so no more Quaker chewy bars, which are basically like the fakest of fake healthy). That plus focusing on fresher, more whole ingredients for actual meals has been a big help already for me.

    • Solidarity. I managed to put on about 5-6lbs in 2.5 months on the pill…which I’ve since tossed for myriad other reasons and am now facing taking that weight off. Sigh. I signed up for MyFitnessPal but the only thing that helped in the past was either tracking calories, ditching alcohol, or LOTS of exercise combined with lessened alcohol consumption and more fresh food cooked at home.

    • Yep. When I was on the pill, I not only put on 5-6 pounds in the first few months on it, but also found that I gained weight much easier on it. (I was also in law school at the time, but I really think the pill also had something to do with it.) Since I switched to an IUD, I’ve been gradually losing weight without really doing much, which makes me think a lot of this was related to the pill.

      I second the suggestion about MyFitnessPal. I also think finding foods that sate cravings is really important. For me, around my period I would crave a lot of sweets but found that if I ate a bit of chocolate it pretty much end the craving. I also found that lower alcohol consumption helped a lot.

    • Look up insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity and try to think in those terms (there aren’t a lot of supported theories as to how the pill causes weight gain, but this is one of the few there is).

      You didn’t ask about this, but I’d encourage you to just pay attention to how you are doing on the pill. I personally regret my last foray onto the pill for medical issues; there was a honeymoon period, but I really paid for it later, and now I have lingering side effects from the pill to deal with in addition to the issues I was taking it for. I hope you have a better experience though! I was probably a little on the older side to be taking it.

    • Sunscreen :

      I never found a bcp that I could take without gaining weight. Ugh.

    • Have you tried Nuva Ring? I found that to cause less weight gain and more uniform hormones.

  5. In the last few days my husband has started getting an email receipt whenever I use my credit card. I have no idea how they got our email address and why it’s his and not mine, and I don’t like it (he’s more frugal than I am so even though we can easily afford everything I’m buying, he complains about it). It’s a shared card but I am the primary account holder. The card is Chase. Anyone had this happen and how did you fix it?

    • Anonymous :

      call them?

    • Anonymous :

      Have you logged in and looked at your account settings?

    • Anonymous :

      Sounds like the start of the Handmaid’s Tale. Move to Canada now before it’s too late.

    • Anonymous :

      I get an email receipt when the business uses Square for their payment system because I signed up for a frequent customer program when I used that card at a local coffee place. My husband has a card on the same account so I get emails when he uses it at Square payment places too. Could that be what’s happening– and why it’s his email address?

      • This happened to me, but with my work account — I must have used the card for a travel expense and entered my work email for the receipt. Then I started getting receipts to that account for all sorts of things. You should be able to fix that in Square’s settings but I don’t remember how I found them.

      • I mean, I get email receipts from Square and haven’t signed up for any special customer programs. I think that’s just how Square does receipts.

        But yeah, I’d double check your account settings for who the notification emails go to.

      • Anonymous :

        So I am not from the US but spent some time there and whenever I shopped at the coffee shop at the office I would get an email receipt. I have never received a receipt from anywhere else, and there is no way they would have my email address. I’m still baffled but as it’s the email associated with my card assume that there is something in the POS that can send a notification. Creepy as f though

    • It’s in your settings. We have chase and it’s set to send e-receipts to me since I set up our online stuff. Just change your settings.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Did he recently download the app? This happened to me on our credit card (I was getting my husbands… it was a useful GPS tracker but ultimately I turned that off.)

    • It’s probably the POS system and not your bank.

  6. Hormonal Theory of Obesity :

    I recently started reading about the hormonal theory of obesity and the role of insulin in weight gain. I was always a thin kid and thin throughout college but have steadily gained weight since then and am now obese. I’ve tried every diet out there but I can’t seem to keep it off. Has anyone instituted any weight loss plans based on regulating insulin. If so, what do you do?

    • Anonymous :

      A common strategy for weight loss in those with PCOS is to do a type of low carb diet. I think there is a PCOS group on reddit that talks about it a great deal.

    • Anonymous :

      I think that this is true for some people. Two thoughts though:

      1. What do you see with your older female relatives? My family tends to go from really skinny to heavier as older women (post-menopause), but not to the point of obesity. I think in times of plenty, people just get heavier as they age even if they stay active.

      2. Were you a premie? I am tending to believe that there is some proof to the premie-obesity link if your family has any tendency to be heavy (esp. in women).

      FWIW, all of the adult women in my husband’s family are obese and were overweight even as children (and my MIL and both SILs were premature or <5 pounds at birth).

    • I’ll be interested in the responses. I hadn’t heard of the hormonal theory of obesity but I’ve heard about losing weight by regulating insulin better. Someone here recommended Maria Emmerich’s book about the keto diet. She talks about regulating insulin levels through keto and IF.

    • I have similar issues (I’m insulin resistant) and I’ve been seeing a naturopath for this.

      A few things:
      -I’m on a supplement called insolitol which is supposed to help make you more insulin sensitive
      -intermittent fasting is supposed to help with insulin sensitivity as well so I’m only eating between 12-8
      -I have cut out wheat/gluten completely, as well as processed sugar, dairy and most carbs (including things like brown rice although I will allow myself brown rice/quinoa/sweet potatoes on occasion).
      -the keto diet is also supposed to help but what I’ve been doing has been working for me.
      -I love wine but I’ve cut it out a lot. Not completely, but I probably only have a glass once or twice a week.

      I’ve been doing this pretty regularly (plus exercise) for a month, and am down about 8 pounds. More importantly, I can notice a difference in my stomach i.e. it looks less bloated.

    • Intermittent fasting- someone here recommended the obesity code to me. I read that, and it explained it well.

      • I tried IF and really was concerned that it was setting me up for some disordered eating (binging / purging by fasting). It just didn’t feel right to me (but totally believe that it works for others). Anyone else encounter this?

        I tried with my husband and worry that it will reinforce his worst habits (portion sizes out of control, being so hungry when you eat that you don’t cook anything healthy but instead eat the whole bag of Fritos, etc.). He is a heart attack about to happen and I don’t think that this is the fix he really needs.

        • Different strokes for different folks of course, but I don’t understand how this is disordered eating. You are still eating a sufficient amount of calories (at least you should be), it’s just that you’re eating in a more contained window that dispersed throughout the day. With that said, I have found that my appetite has gone down after doing IF for a year. I’m just not as hungry as I used to be and my portions are smaller, but I’m feeling particularly hungry one day I will certainly eat a generous amount of food.

          • Disordered eating isn’t just about calorie restriction – you can have an unhealthy relationship to food that’s resulting in poor mental health even if you’re eating enough calories. I don’t think the OP is saying that IF is disordered eating, but that she felt like the restrictive nature of it could trigger ED behavior or an unhealthy relationship to food.

            People with EDs often have a LOT of rules around food and eating that are part of the disorder (e.g., never eating in front of other people, only eating at certain times, etc.). People who don’t have a history of disordered eating may also have rules about food and eating, but those rules don’t dominate your life or affect your mental health. If ED is a risk, any approach to eating that requires strict adherence to rules is something to consider carefully.

            Here’s an example: say you’re doing IF and you only eat between noon and 7 PM ordinarily. However, because of an out of office commitment, you’ll be unable to eat at all during that time period. A person with a normal relationship to food would say, “okay, that’s fine, I’ll make an adjustment for today and have a meal beforehand and eat something afterward, and go back to my IF pattern tomorrow.”

            A person with ED might eat nothing at all, because the rules say only noon to 7 PM is okay. Or a person with ED might eat beforehand and afterward, but torture herself with guilt over breaking the rules, to the point that she is in a crisis all night resolves to eat nothing tomorrow because she broke them.

          • +1 to cbackson. Disordered eating doesn’t look the same for everyone, and what’s an easy solution for some might open the door to really harmful patterns for others. I know a lot of women on here are big advocates of IF and have found it to be a system that works really well for them, which is great! But IF would never in a million years work for me, because it would immediately trigger harmful thoughts and patterns: not eating breakfast was the first step I took towards not eating anything, basically ever, and being the sickest and most miserable I’ve ever been. Just thinking about doing IF makes me feel anxious, even at the very minimal level required to write this post.

            So Anonymous at 10:43, I hear you and I support your decision that IF is the wrong choice for you and your family.

        • I’m really trying to try (is that a thing?) IF. My issue is I need breakfast, which means I need to eat dinner by like 6. And I’m in biglaw.

          But IF or no, ime the key to weight loss is 1) not having snacks like Fritos around the house and 2) always have healthy things pre-made that you can reach for when you’re hungry. For (2), I streamline dinner prep so I don’t snack while I’m making dinner (even with healthy snacks… I can’t afford the calories). And I have easy to assemble healthy snacks that can supplement my meal if needed.

          • Try it for a few weeks and then re-assess the need for breakfast. I have always loved breakfast and thought I had to have it. Now I am fine to have some coffee and not eat until noon. Your body adjusts. That being said, I do better in the morning if I eat a decent/balanced dinner the night before. Last night I just had cereal and I was hungrier earlier than normal this morning.

          • I thought I was someone who needed breakfast as well until I just stopped eating it. Took about a week to get my body adjusted. With that said, if you’re simply a breakfast person that’s fine, eat an early dinner. Personally I find it much easier to skip breakfast than have a really early dinner, but that’s also because I go to bed late (11 pm) and having a 5 hour window of eating nothing in the evening would be tough for me.

            You could also try to push breakfast to 10 am if you can, that way you can dinner around 7 pm.

          • I do a modified version. Black coffee and small probiotic (one individual serving size) yoghurt for breakfast. Otherwise eat normally between 12pm – 8/9pm but try to avoid eating outside those hours. I drink a lot more water than I used to because it turns out I often thought I was hungry when really I had not been drinking enough water.

          • Thanks guys! I lift or run for at least an hour in the mornings so I really need fuel about an hour after my workout. I get faint and dizzy if it’s past 10 am and I haven’t eaten. I’ve been trying to wait to have breakfast until I get to work but that’s kind of the latest I can do.

        • I’m not sure how it works, but it really reduces cravings for me. When I break my fast, I want something healthy to eat because I know that eating anything heavy or greasy is going to make me feel gross. It does take some planning- you definitely do not want a bag of Fritos to break your fast. I usually will have a handful of nuts, avocado toast, or other similar items on hand to break it and then eat a healthier meal later on when I’m not as hungry. Therefore, I’m not just binging as soon as it’s over.

          • + 1

            I am shocked by how much less hungry I am since I started doing IF. I don’t diet at all, but I get full much more easily than I used to.

    • I’ve struggled with this. I had a very high metabolism as a teenager. Like strangers would tell me to ‘eat a cheeseburger’ even though I regularly ate as much as the male athletes at my high school. I could eat whatever I wanted and never seem to gain weight. It only last about 8 years but caused very unhealthy eating habits. Starting in my mid-20s my metabolism normalized and I started gaining weight. I tried different diets but it took until my late thirties to learn how to eat like a ‘normal’ person with a ‘normal’ metabolism. It might sound silly but I worked with a therapist because I felt like being a ‘foodie’/eating out all the time was a big part of who I was and monitoring my eating felt like a huge change. I am also very sensitive to insulin. If I gorge on sugar, I almost ‘pass out’ from the insulin surge afterwards. FWIW – my grandma had the same issues. She was very skinny as a child/teen, obese in midlife, diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and then lost the weight and control her diabetes with diet only for 20 years until she passed from a heart condition. So I do think there is a hereditiary element to insulin issues.

      Do not try to ‘diet’. Work with a registered dietican to understand how much food you need to eat each day. Lose weight slowly – like max 1lb a week and consider working with a therapist who specialize in food issues. If you can’t take that on right now, try Weight Watchers which has a reasonable program but avoid all the ‘diet’ foods they sell, just eat real foods.

      • I had the same pattern! Around 25 I started to gain weight. I have to eat like a normal person and *gasp* exercise now. I’m also very sensitive to blood sugar fluctations so I have to moderate my sugar intake (I even cut it out of my tea).

    • Frozen Peach :

      Yep. I’m a HUGE fan of IF. I follow the 5:2 plan, but I didn’t buy the book. There’s enough info out there online, but Dr. Jason Fung and his book The Obesity Code really explain the science of IF well. It has really helped heal my gut, my skin is better, my thinking clearer. I have lost about 25 lbs since I started last fall. Can’t recommend enough.

      I do not binge, but I do eat whatever I want on weekends– waffles and bacon and eggs with my kiddo, nice dinners out or thai takeout with my husband. My stomach has gotten smaller, and the portions I want are significantly smaller than they used to be. But my palate has also really changed, and I have a much better idea of what my body “wants” to eat. I eat a ton of healthy fats now. And a ton of butter. (That has not changed any of my labs with my GP– have been monitoring cholesterol / diabetes risks closely as I’ve been doing this. ) But I also now crave huge spinach salads and nuts and bananas and other things that I never enjoyed eating before. It has made eating pleasurable again for me, and it’s the easiest diet in the world.

      I usually break my fast with fancypants potato chips fried in some kind of healthyish oil. And then eat dinner an hour or two later. I also usually have a half hour period during a fast where I’m HUNGRY. But then it passes and I am not again, and I don’t think about it until I break the fast. And there are lots of ways I deal, including chugging a green juice or doing something else to get my blood sugar up while staying below 500 cals. Can you tell I’m a fan?

    • Yes, insulin is at the root of all weight gain. You don’t have to go all crazy with diets, IF, etc. Just don’t eat SO MUCH fruit, starch, and sugar. Balance your meals with some proteins and good fats. Eat veggies. Doing this alone will help with cravings.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t skip any meals, but my doctor explained how even just not snacking between meals or before bed makes a big difference in giving your body a break from the insulin. Because of another health issue, I get reactive hypoglycemia, so I’ve had to lower carbs to make this work, but it is really helping with energy/not feeling hungry (we’ll see if it helps me lose weight).

        • Make sure you don’t go too long without eating, though. If you have PCOS or are over 35 (like me on both counts), restricting calories and fasting can raise cortisol and cause hormonal imbalances which make it hard for us to lose weight.

  7. Grad school gift :

    My sister is graduating with her masters in speech pathology. She’s 30 but this will really be her first “adult” job. She’s been, ah, a passionatate couch surfer, do-er of odd jobs etc since graduating undergrad. She got married, so has a household full of wedding gifts, a grown up car, and all the trappings of adult life, but is also recently (mutually agreeably) separated, so she’s also sort of “on her own” (in quotes because she has half a household of stuff with her).

    Neither she nor her husband have anything saved for retirement, but they do have a pile of cash. Sister had about 30k in grad debt.l from this degree.

    I’m thinking of getting her either some kind of gift card for workwear (which is tricky- she’ll be working in a nursing home or hospital and I’m pretty sure the dress code is fairly casual, so not sure where to get the GC), and/or a book (recs wanted) on personal finance and a check. It’s less that she/they don’t have money, but they’ve been kind of floating along with no goals/purpose. So they rent, have no consumer debt, have a pile of cash and now the grad debt, but also no retirement savings at all. And my sister vaguely knows she should be doing something Adult with it but not sure what.

    And, she’ll be making 90k which is at least 3x what either of them haveever made before. So she wants to be smart about her new income.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Give her the gift of Financial Peace University from Dave Ramsey. You can complete the gift subscription online and she can either take the class in person or online. I haven’t taken it personally (planning on doing it after the wedding with my partner), but I’ve heard from others that it’s appropriate for secular attendees as well, and that the most it really gets into religious financial principals is that he does recommend you give 10% of your income, either as a tithe for the religious or in charitable giving for the nonsecular. It’s a program that works really well for a lot of people.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you should not do this because it’s a rude and judgy gift! Give her something fun as a graduation gift! Something you think she will like! Ask her if she wants financial advice separately, give her a book just because. Not as her graduation gift.

      • Grad school gift :

        You mean the financial part, I assume? I’d normally agree, but she keeps texting me with questions- what’s an IrA, how much should I contribute to my company’s 401k, what happens tax wise when you “actually make money,” etc. I pointed her to google after giving her some basic insight.

        I don’t know that I’m looking for Dave Ramsey style stuff- more like Finance 101 or “retirement for dummies.”

        Or…none of that and a recommendation for a good clothing gift card or other item in the <$300 range.

        • Veronica Mars :

          There is tremendous benefit to being in a classroom setting where she can ask questions live. Dave Ramsey is finance 101 for dummies. It literally gives baby steps for how to be financially successful. I don’t know of another similar program. If you’re looking to just do a book, do that, but don’t discount a program that would actually give her the building blocks to paying off debt, starting retirement, and saving for the future.

          • Veronica Mars :

            *similar in the live option and widespread availability, as well as the relatively low cost given the 9-week course. The only thing somewhat similar may be out of a community college or the like.

          • Grad school gift :

            Would love to hear from anyone who has done this how the religious angle rubs in practice. Neither of us would want anything to do with it.

            I guess I have a biased view of the program because my SIL and her husband did it- and they were financially…ah…typically american (piles of debt, money coming in and just going….out, no savings, etc). My sister isn’t that- she’s quite frugal. Just not used to a big paycheck and wants to make sure she’s smart with it- if that makes sense.

            So maybe something like this program makes sense, as long as there’s not much religious. Sister is also an alcoholic and can barely tolderate AA due to the god angle. But she does it because literally nothing else works. I’m not sure she can take another “well if you just ignore the god part…” slice of life.

          • @Grad school gift, this probably isn’t helpful with the gift angle (although she does have a book out now), but I would recommend the blog Frugalwoods to your sister. They have lots of great resources for basic financial planning and zero Jesus.

          • Look for where its offered in her area and choose a class at a Methodist or maybe Episcopalian church, avoid Baptist or non-denominational and I think it would be fine. There was a bible verse here and there in the work book, but there was no praying or religious discussion. I think maybe half of our class of 30 attended the church we took it at (just from random info people shared, we were never asked about our affiliation).

            We took it right after we got married and were both pretty new in our professional careers, it was a total game changer for us, it sounds perfect for your sister. There are classes on retirement, real estate, insurance, paying off debt, budgeting, he makes it pretty cut and dry, which is super helpful.

            There is a strong focus on having an “accountability partner” so if she’s separated, maybe you could take it with her?

        • How about Personal Finance for Dummies to help with some of these basic concepts? Or Suze Orman’s Young, Fabulous and Broke book?
          I’d give this as a “just because” gift. Make the graduation gift something else like a gift card.

        • Anonymous :

          So? Just cause she has questions doesn’t make it a good graduation gift! How about a new wallet with gift cards for Nordstrom, Target, and Amazon in it and a $2 bill for good luck.

          • +1 and come on, she’s only 30, she’s still got plenty of time to save for retirement especially since she’s now got a professional job. Just answer the questions and get her a real present.

          • I love this suggestion!

          • Veronica Mars :

            She has $300 to spend. Half on something practical, half on something fun. If she’d said, “I want to find a fun gift” I would’ve suggested fun gifts. But the OP specifically requested something to help her sister become more financially literate, and this is the best program I know to do that.

          • Seriously! SO judgey! Maybe I’m just taking it personally because I’m 30 and also just now getting my feet under me in a similar way… I thought this was a kind of normal timeline for people in our demographic nowadays.

          • Veronica do you work for them? I don’t understand why you need to recommend it, recommend it again, defend your recommendation, and then complain about people having a different opinion… Also, you haven’t even taken the course!

    • Could you help her select and pay for her to meet with a financial adviser or financial coach? I think Dave Ramsey has a certain stigma, that it’s for people who’ve been highly irresponsible with their consumer debt, which I’m sure is unfair to his different programs and certainly not the whole picture. It sounds like she just needs a strategy, to understand what her take-home pay will be, and where she should be investing or parking her pile of cash, be it for short or long term goals (house downpayment vs retirement, etc).

    • Book: Smart Women Finish Rich. I read the couples version with my husband, and it was great.

    • I agree that you should buy a fun/celebratory graduation gift, but I think Get a Financial Life by Beth Kobliner is a great basic overview of personal finance.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to Get a Financial Life as a good basic personal finance book. But not as a graduation gift!

    • I would get her the Bogleheads Guide to Investing (which also has information about general financial planning), a gift card to Nordstrom, and an offer to spend a day going shopping together. I disagree with the posters who say don’t get a finance book; she asked for advice and a $20 book is a tiny part of a $300 present. I suggest Nordstrom because that gives her a wide variety of options to spend the card on (clothes, shoes, bags, etc.) in various levels of formality, including options that might be nicer than what she would otherwise have bought herself.

    • Honestly get her a big old Starbucks gift card with like $100 and tell her coffee’s on you for 2 month or so

    • Anonymous :

      OP, please do not buy your sister a financial/personal finance book. Your post sounds really judgy, but from what I can tell, she’s done a pretty good job so far! She’s graduated from college. She’s supported herself through her 20s. She’s avoided consumer debt. She’s graduating from grad school with a degree that secures a well-paying job, presumably in a career she’ll be happy with, with a reasonable amount of student debt based on her projected income. She’s leaving a relationship she doesn’t want to be stuck in the rest of her life. She has a bunch of stuff, a car, and a pile of cash! Really, that’s not bad for almost 30. (Think about all the posts on this board with regrets about getting a law degree because they didn’t know what else to do at 22, or taking on too much consumer debt or humongous student loans, or not divorcing soon enough.)

      Buy her something fun for graduation–a Starbucks gift card, or a purse, or a gift card to a lunch place near where she’ll be working.

      It’s not that she shouldn’t learn the basics of personal finance now that she has a professional job and enough money leftover to start saving for retirement. But she should do it herself. If she keeps asking you questions, you can respond with, “You know, when I was setting all this up, I read this great book…” It doesn’t have to be true.

  8. I really reallly do not like my in laws. We’ve never had a fight and on a superficial level our relationship appears fine and I try to put on a happy face when I see them. Without getting into all the details, they are extremely manipulative, aggressive, opinionated, and rude. They have lied to us multiple times about a variety of things, do not seem to respect our values at all, and have said extremely hurtful things to my husband about his life choices. All of their conversations are basically yelling their unfounded opinions at us. We don’t live in the same city anymore so I see them a lot less but when We do have visits I feel full of rage and almost sick to my stomach in the days leading up to them, during the visit, and in the days following. We are seeing them soon and I need suggestions for how to just ignore their bad behavior and not let it impact me so much. They do love our daughter and treat her well and she loves them so I’m not willing to just cut them off completely, although I do wish I never had to deal with them again.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      A couple things:

      1) This sucks and I’m really sorry.

      2) Have you talked to you husband about this? Does he agree with you? Is he willing to stand up for you and/or take the brunt of it and let you tag out as much as possible? Dealing with in-laws can be totally different based on whether your husband supports you.

      3) Treating a child’s parents badly in front of her is one kind of treating a child badly.

      • My husband understands how I feel and feels the same way to an extent. He is much better at completely ignoring their comments and not letting it bother him. He doesnt understand why I let them get to me/why I care so much (and I don’t really either to be honest). He thinks the aggressive opinions and bickering/yelling is just how his family operates and he has a think skin about it. I come from a very different background and it’s much more grating to me.

        • Grad school gift :

          Oh man, my DH is the same way about his dad. “Yeah, he’s an old bigot. He won’t change. I don’t know what to tell you- I find him equally unlemasant but just tune him out.” We don’t see FIL much!

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          I would keep an eye on this and how it’s affecting you and your daughter — “aggressive opinions and bickering/yelling” is objectively not a great way for a family to operate, and you’re allowed to say “nope, no more.”

          But for as long as you want to just grit your teeth and bear it, I recommend (a) constantly reminding yourself that it’s not about you, it’s about them, (b) pretending you’re a field scientist doing a long-term study of the strange habits of Home Aggressivus Bickerus, and (c) being very forgiving of yourself when they get to you anyway.

        • This is so familiar to me. My husband is used to his parents being openly angry/aggressive about inconsequential things but to me it feels like a crisis and stresses me out. My husband is alarmed by my parents’ lackadaisical approach to finances whereas I am like, “yeah, they are terrible with money whaddya gonna do?” Anger problems and financial problems are both serious problems but we each ignore/react according to what’s been normalized for us in our upbringing.

    • Anonymous :

      Is it a known thing that white jeans run bigger? I ordered the same J. Crew jeans in the same size, just different washes (one blue, one white). The blue jeans fit perfectly. The white jeans are really baggy in the thighs and butt and even seem roomier in the calves (but I don’t think I could size down because they are fitted at the waist). Guess I’m just wondering if this is a one-off thing or a standard jean sizing thing.

      • Anonymous :

        Ack sorry meant to make a new post.

      • No, it’s not a white jeans thing, but a factory thing. Different factories cut different colors and the patterns can be slightly off. That’s why a blue shirt, red shirt, white shirt, etc., can all be the same style and fit differently of it’s from a mass retailer with overseas manufacturing.

    • Whatup, sister in law!

      See you at tgiving later this year?

    • My in-laws are awful in similar ways, with a few extra doses of crazy on certain issues. I can’t stress how important it is for you and your husband to be on the same page about just acknowledging their behavior/validating how it affects you, as well as boundary-setting. We did a few sessions of couples counseling over this and it was super helpful for us to hear each other and determine how we wanted to move forward. I am at a place with my in-laws where I just want no part of them ever again–letting my husband determine how he wants to conduct his own relationship with them based on the boundaries we jointly set, but I don’t feel bad at all for having no more than the occasional logistical conversation with them.

    • If you’re literally feeling ill at the thought of seeing them, have you considered the option of just…not? Let your husband go with your daughter and have a relaxing few days at home. They just need to know that you had prior plans. For terrible inlaws, I think you only have to tolerate their presence at: spouse’s birthday, grandchild birthday, one important religious holiday (or sub Thanksgiving). Other than that, just beg off.

    • Our basic strategy is to plan lots of activities so we don’t have a lot of time sitting around a table talking. To that end:

      (1) We’ve survived many family encounters by suggesting going to the movies (2+ hours of “quality” time with no talking then at least a few more conversations about the movies). Theaters are best, but just an at-home movie night can work.

      (2) Museums/zoos. Everyone focuses on external stimuli (look at the elephant) instead of each other.

      (3) Escape rooms. Again, conversation is focused outwards (solving the puzzle) and everyone has a good experience and can talk about the escape room (instead of each other).

      Notice a theme? Our goal is to keep everyone focused on what we did/are doing, instead of talking about life stuff. We are also huge proponents of staying in hotels, not with family. The ability to decompress is a must.

    • You’ve gotten some really good suggestions, but I’ve found meditation/mindfulness has really helped me deal with the kind of pit-of-my-stomach anxiety you seem to be describing. For thoughts you are supposed to sort of not engage and watch them like cars on a road, and I’ve found that same sort of detachment/refusal to engage helpful for crappy people I can’t stand too. I also play “Crappy Person Bingo” where I ahead of time come up with 3-5 awful things they do and mentally check it off as it happens. It seems silly but it really helps me detach myself.

    • A big thing for me is space & time so when it gets too much I can beg off and take a break. Staying at a hotel so that at least I can escape from family when I need to highly recommended. Likewise, taking time to go get my nails done, or get a coffee and surf the internet or go to the grocery store for something helps a ton. Having the option to bail for an hour is at least 1/3 of the benefit.

      I also am less tolerant of family nonsense when I’m hungry or tired, so I need to make sure I take the time to eat and sleep if I have to deal with people I’m unexcited to see.

      More for unavoidable interactions there’s the captain awkward 2 deflections then leave strategy- A says something awful, you say ‘let’s not talk about that. How about them dodgers?’ A brings the conversation back to horrible topic, you escalate ‘I told you that I didn’t want to talk about that. What are you planting in your garden?’ A brings it back up again, ‘Sorry A, I need a break from talking about that. So I’m going to the store’. Lather rinse repeat.

      • Anonymous :

        I like my inlaws, and I still make sure I’ve brought the spare key to the car so that I can “Take a break” if I need to. Grocery store, starbucks, etc…..

  9. Anonymous :

    I’m on date 4 with a guy who seems great. We are the same age. However, I learned he previously dated and lived with a woman 20 years older than him in his late 20s until 2 years ago. We are now 34. I find this weird? Anyone else?

    I find it hard to understand what I would have had in common with someone 20 years older than me when I was late 20s. That’s a generational gap. I saw photos of them on his FB, and she looked like his mom in her appearance, hair style, and dress.

    • Anonymous :

      So I’m 35, dating a guy who’s 31, who before me dated seriously a woman who was 50. I don’t care at all! He’s also dated people close to his age. Sometimes your heart (or in his case garden hose) wants something different. Sure there’s a generational gap but that doesn’t mean they had nothing in common- your interests and values aren’t necessarily tied to age. I think of her the same as any other ex- some woman he used to like but doesn’t now.

    • Anonymous :

      I have never dated someone more than 2 years apart from me in any direction and definitely wouldn’t want to date someone much older or much younger, but I think you’re overreacting. He had something in common with this woman and that’s why he dated her. It doesn’t mean you should have anything in common with her. (In fact I think it would be more disturbing if he always dated women who looked or acted a certain way). Their relationship is over now, I’m not sure why it has any relevance to your relationship with him.

    • I’d be more concerned that he still has all these photos of an ex on his fb. Is he not over her? Are they still friends?

      Idk why you have an issue with the age difference though. So what if she was older? That by itself doesn’t reflect poor judgment on his part. Maybe they were great but he realized he wants someone closer to his age. Esp. if he wants biokids.

      And if you dk what you’d have in common with someone 20 years older, maybe broaden your horizons? I’m also 34 and I have friends in their early 50s. I’m involved in lots of service groups where I meet people of all ages. I’d be pretty sad if in 10 years our new members felt like they couldn’t talk to me because I’m an Old.

      • huh? you expect people you’re dating to go back and delete pictures from years ago that happen to have their former SO in them? that’s a bit cray. I would understand deleting, for example, tons of lovey-dovey profile pics or maybe engagement/wedding pics if you are divorced, but in general that would be a huge nope for me.

        • Yeah I used to post pictures a lot on FB and I have several ex-boyfriends that appear in lots of old photos on my page even though I’m now happily married. They’re not like kissing pictures or anything, but I would find it kind of off-putting if a guy was jealous that I had some vacation albums that had photos of me and my exes. It’s part of my life, it happened and I don’t see why I should have to delete it and pretend these people never existed. It doesn’t mean I have any feelings for them. Of course it’s weird to have an ex in your profile pic or something like that, but it sounds like she just found some old photos on his page.

          • Phone manners :

            I think that FB should be like snapchat and everything > 1 year just fades away unless you opt in to refresh it.

            Auto-fade, anyone?

          • Anonymama :

            No way, I love getting to look back at my own posts/pictures from years ago, especially now with kids in the picture. It’s like having a virtual life photo album. (I post pretty sparingly, so maybe that’s why it doesn’t seem so bad?)

      • I definitely do not have time to go through years of facebook photos to delete all photographic evidence of my exes.

        • Senior Attorney :

          HAHA I agree with you in principle but I have very fond memories of the evening about five years ago when I went in and deleted all the photographic evidence of my former husband…

          • LOL love that. I deleted all pictures with one ex after our particularly awful breakup. It helped a LOT.

    • It is unusual, but not that unusual. My husband has a friend who lives with his girlfriend who is more than 20 years older. They’re both very nice, normal people that don’t seem like they should work together but they like each other. I did find it kind of weird, though I’m definitely far removed from the situation. Maybe it is something to ask him about?

    • I agree. I dated someone 15 years older than me in my mid-30s and had I been younger it would have been too weird to happen (apt + roommates vs accounting firm partner with ultra-fancy house). My line (then) was that the person had to be closer to my age than my parents’ age. 20 years (in my 20s) would have been weird (no so in my 50s-80s maybe).

    • You have been on 4 dates with the President of France?

    • Flats Only :

      Would you appreciate it if he judged you by whoever you dated in the past? If it really weirds you out stop seeing him – it’s only been four dates.

    • It’s totally normal to be intimidated by Demi.

    • Another anon :

      I mean it’s unusual but not necessarily problematic (unless you have a sense that she was financially supporting him and that was why he was with her). Late 20s to early 30s is not SO young. Normally everyone is complaining about how immature guys in their late 20s are! So this might be an indication that he’s a lot more mature than his age?

    • Maybe it’s a little weird, but does it matter? It’s over now.

    • I find it a lot less off-putting than if he had been dating a woman substantially younger than him. There are plenty of men in their late 20s who date college girls.

      Ask him what he appreciated about her and the relationship.

    • Honestly, I would take that as a good sign, and might be a little insecure (that’s my hang-up).

      This is because it shows maturity, and that he values commitment as well as respecting women not just for superficial reasons but because of who they are.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I don’t think it’s that weird. I dated men 15-20 years older, before I got married. I also haven’t scrubbed every photo of exes from my photo albums and social media.

    • Swap in race instead of age. I think you’ll find how “normal” I think your view is.

      And if this were a women late 20s to 32 dating someone in their upper 40s, I don’t think folks would even bat an eye.

      • Thanks for all the comments. I’m the OP. This guy and I are both POC from the same background, and I disagree you can swap race with age. I’ve dated guys of various races, and I still think age is different as its generational.

        I once dated a guy who was 11 years older than me, and I felt like that was my limit. He had different frames of reference for pop culture, music, childhood experiences.

        I appreciate everyone’s thoughtful comments. Def food for thought.

        I don’t think its weird he has photos of his ex. They are in albums from years ago. I also haven’t bothered to scrub my FB of old albums, either.

        • I think it depends on the specific people. I briefly dated a guy who was 34, when I was just 20. We met socially and got along very well and there wasn’t any issue with a generational gap. When I found out though that he was much older than I assumed, it dawned on me that his chaotic college lifestyle was not quite right for his adult, working-a-job stage of life. He suddenly seemed immature and unappealing to me, even though he was much older than me. Just based on having things in common, we totally could have made it work.

      • I think women dating older men get labeled as gold diggers pretty easily…so I wouldn’t say no one would bat an eye.

        • Except, a lot of the older men going after much younger women are late bloomers/immature/relatively poor. It is a thing with the high achievers, yes. But also the low achieving men.

          • +1. My good friend’s younger sister started a relationship with a man when she was 22 and he was 35. She got pregnant, so they stayed together and tried to make it work. She recently turned 25, and she’s realized that he’s not going to grow up. He travels for work (2 weeks on, 2 weeks off, or something like that). When he’s home, he goes out with his friends until all hours of the morning and comes home drunk. Then he’s hungover and unable to help. She’s solo-parenting 90% of the time. She’s given him several ultimatums, and it doesn’t change. She’s back in school to be a nurse, and my understanding is that her long-term plan is to leave him when she graduates from nursing school.

            In financial terms, this guy is not low-achieving–he makes about $400K/year in our MCOL area, and probably has one of the highest paid jobs that doesn’t require an advanced degree or owning your own business. But he’s still a child.

    • My brother is currently dating a woman about 15 years his senior. He is mid twenties. I don’t think it’s weird per se, but I do regularly wonder what this badass woman (because she is) wants with a kid who lives in a bachelor pad. I think he’s incredibly lucky that he has this smart woman to help him figure out who he is.

      That said, my husband had a little thing with an older woman when he was younger (before me) and once mentioned that the gardening was really really good because she was so experienced. Can’t say I enjoyed hearing that.

      • Seventh Sister :

        Speaking as a fortysomething woman, a younger guy might well be less set in his ways, more independent (I’m regularly appalled at the number of men my age who can’t make their own dental appointments or buy their own underpants), and less sexist about gender roles.

    • Baconpancakes :

      One of my best friends dated a woman 21 years older than he was. I met her a couple of times. It was a combination of him being really mature in certain ways, and her being really immature in a lot of ways. I wouldn’t worry about it unless your date displayed behaviors that indicated he had mommy issues.

    • I’m getting an “ew, Olds” vibe from your post and I suggest you knock it off. I’m in my early 50s and while I’m all settled down and married to a man 10 years older than me, many of my single friends are hot AF and will date whomever they please, thank you very much. One of the many things a mature woman has to offer is fewer weird hang-ups like, oh, ths topic of this post.

      • Don’t get so defensive. I’m not that much younger than you. But you are married so someone who is 120% of your age when you are both mature. That is hella different than being with someone 200% of your age when you are basically a kid (or moving from your mom’s house into the house of someone old enough to be your mom).

        No one said you weren’t hot.

      • I got the same “ew, Olds” vibe from this post. Very narrow minded.

    • One of my best friends met and married a woman who is 15 years older than him. They have two kids. They met when he was 27. He’s extremely mature for his age in some ways (many of which are related to being a good partner). She’s not immature by any stretch of the imagination. She’s also incredibly introspective and very open-minded, which I think allowed her to look past the initial age difference. There is a generation gap, but it somehow still works because even though she had progressed farther in her life than my friend in some obvious ways (career, finances) she hadn’t in others– she was never married, didn’t have kids, so she hadn’t gone through the experience of being a working professional mom in her 30s with all those challenges and experiences. This is the lifestyle that feels worlds away from being a typical man in your late 20s. (Notably, my male friend is not such a man.) She was also in a place where she could make her career more flexible, whereas a woman in her mid 30s might not be– so it ironically wound up that she had more of that ‘freedom’ that you’d typically associate with someone in their late 20s. It’s a bit unusual/uncommon, but the reality is that it the majority of their relationship woes are unrelated to the age difference- the same stuff that similarly aged couples deal with. I suppose if you look past the obvious things you “have in common” with someone- pop culture knowledge, experiences that come from growing up in the same decade– and focus on the stuff that’s more intrinsic to who you are, you’d be surprised at who you might feel you related to.

    • Would this be an issue if the genders were reversed? No one cares if it is a 30 year old woman dating a 50 year old man. Why is this an issue? He may have been looking for something fun and casual and she was probably looking for the same. Perhaps now he wants something serious and that’s why that relationship ended. Either way, this isn’t a reason to end things with him. See where it goes and if it still bothers you try to find out his motivations for that type of relationship.

      • Seventh Sister :

        It sure doesn’t seem to raise any eyebrows if the genders are reversed, unless the 40+ guy in question is dating an actual teenager.

    • In-House in Houston :

      I’m sure he was with her for the gardening. Based on their ages at the time, they were both prime gardening age.

    • i’m notoriously picky when it comes to dating and i had a first date w/a guy like this (except he married the woman and she sadly died of breast cancer when he was early 30s and she was mid-50s). we didn’t go on a second date but it had nothing to do with him dating a woman that much older.

  10. Would you tell your boss about having had an episode of anxiety/mild depression while they were on leave and counting on you to deliver in their absence? I only half-delivered, and did miss two marks (now well on the way to being achieved with only some impact on others). Today is debrief day, and I know they will ask why it was missed and the truth was that I couldn’t put in the extra time, nor was as clear-headed/confident in action as necessary. I have taken steps to address my mental health, and am more or less back to peak performance. I don’t want to sound like I am offering excuses for failing to meet expectations, nor rattle the boss’ confidence in me further, but that is the reality.

    • Should you be able to? Yes. Would I? Probably not unless I knew this boss REALLY REALLY well and had total confidence in a supportive reaction.
      I’d focus on simply stating the facts (I missed two marks, I’m aware of the impact and am taking steps X,Y,Z) to ameliorate them.

      • +1

        You should be able to in a perfect world, but I suggest not doing so. For people who don’t understand anxiety/depression and aren’t inclined to be supportive, this will just scream “unreliable, unhealthy, unable to do the work.” NOT reasonable or accurate, but that’s the situation. Or, it’ll throw up ADA red flags for your employer, which will likely just inspire them to fire you. Yay.

        • I mean how isn’t that reasonable and accurate? She was unreliable and unable to do the work.

          • As the OP, just to clarify, “unreliable” is a pretty heavy label to put on someone with a mental health issue. The expectation to be consistently bullet-proof as pre-condition for success if not reasonable. Again, if I had gotten pneumonia, no one would think to say I was “unreliable”. Thanks for all the input – I have a very clear answer to my question!

          • Anonymous :

            If you repeatedly got pneumonia, I think “unreliable” would come up.

            Some (not all) of the stigma that applies to mental health issues applies to other conditions that are poorly understood, difficult to treat, and recurring.

        • Oh stuff it. Yeah, one time she didn’t perform perfectly. That doesn’t mean that she’s ALWAYS unreliable and always unable to do the work, or that it will be a consistent problem in the future.

          So, no. It’s not reasonable and not accurate. Reading comprehension, please. Like if you have the flu once, should your employer fire you because you’re unable to do the work and unreliable?

          OP, people like anonymous at 10:04 are why you shouldn’t tell. I’m sorry that’s the case, but it’s true.

    • Honestly, no. Say it was a health issue, not a mental health issue. It’s not even that mental health is stigmatized (which, of course, it unfortunately is), but just don’t provide more information than is needed. “I was dealing with some health issues for the month of April, but I’m happy to report that everything is under control and I have an action plan for dealing with the remaining pieces of project X…” would be a good place to start.

      • +1 “Health issue” conveys the gravity and protects you if they want to discipline you without the stigma of “mental health issue”

        • Agree with this, if you feel you must say something. “Health issue” can imply it had to do with your lady parts, which almost no boss (especially male bosses) will want more details about.

          I have also used “I really don’t know whether it was a virus or maybe food poisoning” and that is also enough to prevent further questioning. (No one wants to hear about bathroom issues either)

    • Remember, it’s a debrief, not a confession. Stick to the facts. If you need to address a shortcoming, keep it very general. Something like: unfortunately, I had some medical issues that week, so instead of doing it all in one package, I followed up on Points X and Y separately to make sure they’ve been addressed. Project the idea that it’s no big deal.

    • Absolutely not. It’s making excuses.

      • This response is exactly why you should frame it as a health issue rather than a mental health issue. I doubt the response to “I had a Multiple Sclerosis/Crohn’s Disease/Lupus flare up” would be that you’re “making excuses”.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m not sure about this; it’s still an excuse. There can be reasons for providing an excuse (maybe you want to distinguish yourself from someone who has a worse excuse than you do–or shut down speculation), and that’s when the excuse hierarchy comes into play. “Hit by a car” is a way better excuse than “Lupus flare up” (Lupus can be expected to flare up again, so it’s not as random as an accident) which is a way better excuse than “rehab” (because most people view addiction as having a component of choice), etc. We can argue about where “mental health” falls on this hierarchy, but it falls somewhere.

          • Okay fine Ms. Pedantic. It’s literally an excuse because it’s an explanation to excuse whatever OP did. In the same way that my mother’s death is an excuse for me missing a meeting. But when people say “it’s making excuses” what they mean is “she’s not taking responsibility for herself/ her work/her actions, which is inherently problematic.” Words and phrases have meaning, and when you pretend to misunderstand the English language as its commonly used just to be difficult for no reason–which is exactly what you are doing– it’s not a good look.

          • Anonymous :

            I didn’t feel that I was being difficult for no reason; I have worked in “no excuses” environments, where giving the explanation for a mistake only makes things worse. Perhaps that is extreme (or even toxic), but if even good excuses pile up, patience tends to run out in any workplace.

    • Yes, if your job is at risk because that is actually protected by the ADA. If you get fired or put on a PIP later, that same reason won’t excuse you. Better to be up front about what’s going on, just don’t treat it like therapy.

      • anon4this :

        +1 to this – the answer partially depends on how much HR infrastructure there is in your workplace. If an employee told me what you’re thinking of telling your boss, I would be required to send them to HR to get information about whether they would like to apply for accommodations. If they don’t apply for accommodations/they don’t have accommodations approved, I’m not allowed to really take what they’ve said to me into consideration when evaluating their performance b/c the expectation is that you get your work done. (Obviously I’m not 100% heartless, so I would still take it into consideration, but at the same time I would want to document that some things had been missed in case they got worse). Under these conditions, If this was a one time thing, I probably wouldn’t say anything and just eat the bad review (or whatever), but if I knew it was a genuine chronic problem that wasn’t going to go away, I would have this conversation and apply for accommodations.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I would just say I was having a health problem/got sick/had a chronic condition flare up — partly because I’d worry about the stigma of mental illness, but also because I have a policy of being vague about everything so I don’t have to suddenly get vague about something I want to keep particularly private.

  11. Anonymous :

    I’m so tired of people making excuses for lame men, like the problem is with ME for not giving a guy enough of a chance. “Don’t rule him out yet, he’s great!” No he’s a jerk and I’m hurt that you’re telling me I’m too “picky” instead of backing me on the fact that he’s a dud!

    My friend was super excited about introducing me to this guy, so she invited him to a party I attended over the weekend. We have a bunch of shared interests; by way of example let’s call one baseball. I like going to both minor and major league games but I prefer the laid back vibe of minor. After I tell him this, he responds that minor is super lame, he only goes to major, minor isn’t even worthwhile. It went this way with pretty much all of our supposedly shared interests.

    Friend sees this trainwreck and pulls me aside to insist that he’s just awkward. She asks him if he’s going out after the party. He says yes he and some friends are going to Nearby Bar. We had something to do briefly before we could head out, so we said we’d meet him there. He gives me his number and asks me to text him. I text when we’re on our way to Nearby Bar. No response. We go to Nearby Bar, he’s not there. Two hours later he finally texts back – he went home and doesn’t feel like going to Nearby Bar, but he’ll go to a place next to his house if we want to come. Uh no? We only went to Nearby Bar because you suggested it? We’re not now going to a spot that’s more convenient to you?

    Friend STILL insists that he’s totally into me and I should give him another chance. He doesn’t want a chance! He’s not interested! And I’m not interested! Why are you pushing this??? It’s so frustrating to have your friends tell you that you should hold out hope for someone who’s so clearly not someone you should want to date.

    • This guy sounds lame.

      I honestly don’t understand the impulse to aggressively set people up like this. I have friends who are both single and who I think might be happy together, but, they’re adults. If after an introduction they don’t on their own decide that, yes, they would totally be great together, why would I push the issue? It’s not about me.

      • This. I met my husband via a set up through my BIL, but all he did was tell my husband he thought he may be interested in me, invite us both to the same party, and then did nothing. It wasn’t awkward and there was no pressure because I literally had no idea I was being set up. If I had, I doubt it would have worked.

    • “Friend, I appreciate that you want both of us to find love and be happy. But that can’t happen when we are with the wrong person, and we are not the right people for each other.”

    • Triangle Pose :

      Did you just tell her “I’m not interested in him. It doesn’t matter if you think he’s just “awkward” I’m not into it, can we drop this? Thanks.” Real friends will accept this and drop it.

    • Anonymous :

      I respect you for even going to Nearby Bar after you had those type of “misses” on your shared interests.

  12. Building on first question, recommendations for sun protective (or just cute) swim cover-ups? I have a rash guard but maybe a dress for lunch?

    I’ve checked athleta but I don’t love the side tie elastic thing.

  13. Wondering about the Nordstrom credit card. I would like to get one before or during the July anniversary sale and am curious about the best time. Right now I could get a $60 note and the other benefits, but I’m wondering if there is an advantage or other perks to waiting until closer to or during the anniversary sale. Thanks.

    • I don’t know about other benefits – but cardholders usually get early access to the sale, so if you want the card you’re better off having it before the sale starts.

  14. As a pale skinned person from a cooler area who only really gets two weeks in hot sunny weather a year, I’m looking for advice. I love my couple of weeks in the sun but after a few days I start to retain water. I can puff up a dress size in two weeks. It makes all my clothes unflattering and is uncomfortable.

    Apart from avoiding salt, is there anything I can do or take to stop this?

    • More water, less alcohol (esp. sweet drinks), fewer carbs, and water pills if all else fails.

    • You may be dehydrated (which, ianad but that might make you puffier!), so make extra effort to stay hydrated. Maybe consider adding a pedialyte/electrolyte style beverage to your morning vacation routine?

      When I’m in hot sunny weather on vacation (as opposed to like just normal life), I find I want to soak in the experience and I end up lounging and drinking more booze and less water than usual.

    • This happens to me too and I don’t understand why. My feet swell like CRAZY when it’s hot out.

    • Honestly, I think you should just be puffy for a couple weeks and enjoy yourself, life is short.

      • Eh, this happens to me and it is definitely not enjoyable. It feels like my skin is too small for my body, that it’s on too tight. It’s like wearing a full body compression suit that you can’t take off. So, so uncomfortable.

        • This is just part of being hot, at least for me. It’s your body’s physiological response to heat! Not much you can do about it, other than stay out of the heat.

    • Flats Only :

      What are you doing in the hot, sunny weather? If you’re on vacation and eating out a lot, the salt in the restaurant food will get to you no matter how much you try to avoid it. If you are getting sunburned your body will hold onto water while it tries to heal the burn. If you are suddenly much more active than you normally are, your body may hold onto water to help heal any inflation caused by the new activity level (soreness, etc). I find that having a banana every day while on vacation helps cut down on the water retention that comes with eating out a lot – I think it’s the potassium in the banana that does it.

  15. LOVE LOVE this dress pick today. It’s a bit difficult to tell what kind of material it is from the picture. Is this a ribbed sweater dress, or suiting material with vertical stripes?

    • Housecounsel :

      I thought it looked stretchy, and worry that it will pull across the hips. Not sure if I could pull it off.

    • I want to love it, but the length of midi dresses always makes me look stumpy – and I’m 5’8.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      In extreme close up it appears to be ribbed, jersey like material.

  16. Low ferritin levels :

    I just got back from my annual blood work and see that my ferritin levels are extremely below (13 ng/ml where the normal range is 50 – 170). This likely explains why I have had such problems with hair loss. Anyone take iron supplements and what do you recommend? Anyone see more hair growth after taking iron supplements?

    • Housecounsel :

      I have had the same struggles, but regular iron supplements gave me serious heartburn. I have been taking an iron-containing prenatal vitamin now for years, and have had no more issues. I also take a supplement called Viviscal for hair health.

    • I like the slow-release iron supplements.

    • I have had hair regrowth after taking an iron supplement. I do fine with Solgar Gentle Iron. I take it at night before bed since caffeine can interfere with absorption, and I’m not going without my morning coffee!

    • Wow – that’s really low. Are you also anemic?

      I use Vitron-C. It has vitamin C which improves the absorption of iron. I only need one of these tablets to get my iron up when the other formulations require twice a day dosing for me. Also, it doesn’t cause an GI side effects – no stomach upset or constipation.

      I ask Costco to order it for me, and pick it up there. It’s not the cheapest, but it’s worth it for me.

      Also, if you take calcium supplements (which most of us probably need but few of us take), be sure to separate it from the iron (different time of day) or it will interfere with the iron absorption.

      As a side note, if you get restless legs syndrome, it will likely improve once you normalize your iron. It did for me.

      • Low ferritin levels :

        Thanks everyone. I haven’t talked to my dr yet, just got the results. I don’t know if I am anemic (how does one know this?). I eat very well but am vegetarian and suspect that is one reason for the low iron, since red meat is the best way to get iron.

        And I do get restless legs! Interesting that there is a correlation there.

        • Anemic means that your red blood cell numbers are low. So your hematocrit or hemoglobin blood tests are low. This can sometimes make you more tired, but usually the numbers have to be quite low to do this. Really common for young women from menstruation. And yes, sometimes if you are vegetarian.

          If you are this low from diet, I would also think about asking your doc if other vitamin levels should be checked and/or for an appointment with a nutritionist. Often if you are this low in one vitamin, chances are you are low in something else. Depending upon your diet/exclusions/sunlight exposure, calcium B12 and Vitamin D are the most common culpriuts. And they make a big difference to our health.

          Enjoy the better sleep/night-time comfort once your restless legs resolves!

        • +1 to restless legs improving with iron. Definitely get slow-release and take with food. Iron can cause some stomach upset otherwise.

      • Anonymous :

        I second the advice about taking vitamin C. My mom was anemic for years, and they kept giving her different iron supplements. Finally a doctor told her to also take vitamin C, and her ferritin levels finally improved (and she felt better).

    • I had the same issue and was able to take an iron supplement for 6 weeks with no issues. I also made an effort during that time to increase my intake of iron-rich foods. Thankfully I had no side effects from the supplement.

    • SuziStockbroker :

      So you know why your ferritin is so low?

      Mine was 2! Eventually they figured out that it was from celiac disease.

      I had 4 iron infusions at the hospital over 4 months. Now I have a LOT of new hair.

      I note this because I was on iron supplements that did NOTHING (because I wasn’t absorbing them when I had celiac but didn’t know it).

      • Low ferritin levels :

        This is very comforting to hear that you have lots of new hair now. I have been feeling so self conscious for years about my hair loss and not a single doctor recommended getting my ferritin levels checked until I did research on my own and pushed to get it tested. So so frustrating. Hopefully this means that the problem can be reversed. :(

        • Really good points from Suzi.

          Make sure your doctor plans a follow-up blood test to check your levels in a month or two after you start supplements and/or change your diet. Because she is right that if it is your diet alone, the level should improve with supplements. If it doesn’t improve with supplements, it means your body isn’t absorbing it and you need to figure out why (ex. celiac’s). And if you have something like celiac’s, tons of nutritients aren’t getting absorbed, so very bad long term if not treated.

          • SuziStockbroker :

            Indeed. I also have a number of other issues like low bone density because I (must have had) celiac disease for quite some time before I was finally diagnosed.

            The ferritin being at 2 was what finally triggered them to test for it, after initially them blaming it on my being vegetarian.

            I hope the iron supplements help with new hair growth, but please please make sure they are monitoring you and finding out the cause.

            The hair re-growth is great but I had a halo of new baby hairs for quite some time!

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, try to find out why! For me it was low stomach acid (something that was already in my medical record, but which was ignored for some reason). As you can imagine, addressing chronic low stomach acid helped with some other symptoms and deficiencies.

    • KS IT Chick :

      I’ve used pediatric iron supplements in the past, rather than vitamins, to get my iron levels to stabilize. They are OTC, but most pharmacies keep them behind the counter. What I got were liquid drops, which I put in fruit juice that doesn’t have Vitamin C or D (so no orange juice or milk), as they can inhibit iron absorbtion. About 1ml in 4oz of juice for a month has generally been enough to get my levels back to something resembling normal.

      • Vitamin C is known to enhance iron absorption and it recommended to consume C with iron – I actually am not aware of any fruit juices that would not have vitamin C in it. Milk should not be taken with iron, but I believe it is due to calcium being the inhibitor.

    • I use Naturemade without problems and heartily recommend against using the Target generic iron supplement. The side effects were disgusting.

  17. This length dress is so hard to wear.

  18. Phone manners :

    Say you walk into your bathroom and someone is standing by the sink having a phone convo. But it’s the only bathroom and you really have to go. Other than just going, washing hands, and leaving, is there anything to do (other than try not to roll eyes / shoot daggers with eyes)?

    OMG why, why do people do this???

    • A single occupancy bathroom? Ask them to leave. A bathroom is for doing certain business, phone calls can occur anywhere.

      • Phone manners :

        No, a multi-stall bathroom in my office (the phone talker wasn’t a co-worker, so possibly a client or person attending a CLE or other visitor; probably not in on an interview this time of year).

        FWIW, it also happens all the time when I travel (in airport bathrooms and such).

        • Anon in NYC :

          I just do what I need to do. I think it’s super weird – also weird are people in stalls having a full conversation! – and figure that if they don’t want the attendant bathroom sounds that they are free to leave.

    • There’s nothing else to do. Go about your business as normal. I assume they are trying to find somewhere to have a private conversation – or as private as you can get in the bathroom.

      • But WHY make someone else listen to someone else going to the bathroom? The flush gives it away? And what about the privacy of the person needing to use the bathroom without having a local and long distance audience?!

        • I doubt they can hear much background noise. If you’re concerned flush before you go to see if it prompts the person to leave.

        • I think most phones cancel out background noise from that far away. Mine does anyway.

        • Why? Who knows. It’s not something I would do. I don’t bother trying to understand other people’s behavior.

    • I don’t think it’s nice to ask someone to leave a multi-stall bathroom. No one wants to stay in there longer than needed so that conversation probably needs a little privacy. So about your business and care not what other people do… unless you are one of those people who wait until the whole bathroom is empty to go poop. in that case, flush several times to see if the noise will get the person out. if not, you will have to wait some more.

      • I see you have met my husband (not a bathroom talker, a man who would come at home at lunch, not primarily to eat, but for the solo bathroom time).

    • anon a mouse :

      go, flush, wash hands, leave. You are doing exactly what that space is intended for. The phone-talker is not.

      • +1 If it’s going to be awkward , the phone talker is the one making it awkward. Let them own it. Don’t borrow the awkward.

    • Just ignore them. It’s their problem for having a phone conversation in a bathroom. It’s not your problem.

  19. Needs some prospective :

    Over the past 8 weeks, I’ve been working out more and eating healthier. My clothing are fitting better, but I’m not seeing any movement on the scale. I’m trying to not let it disappoint and demotivate me, but it’s hard. I’m really overweight, so why am I not losing pounds??? Please help me reframe this so I can focus on the fact that I’m fitting in to clothing I haven’t worn for a year.

    • If you’re getting smaller but staying the same total weight, you’re gaining muscle! That’s a good thing! You _are_ getting results.

      • You’re not gaining enough muscle in that amount of time to counteract the weight loss. You’re retaining water because you’re working out more and your muscles need the water to help them heal. Once your muscles get used to the exercise, you’ll see the water weight drop off.

        • Yup, this.

        • Really? You don’t gain any muscle in 8 weeks? How long does it take? I feel like I noticeably gain muscle (both strength and girth) in like, a month, or six weeks. Is it totally all in my head? But I also have shirts I could barely fit into.

          Okay, I looked it up, and the National Academy of Sports Medicine says you can notice gains in 4 weeks. Phew!

          • I didn’t say you don’t gain ANY muscle. I said OP hasn’t gained ENOUGH muscle to 100% offset the significant fat loss that she was describing.

            There’s also a big difference in gains if you’re experienced vs. just starting out. When I was just starting, I saw a big change in shape and tone but not really the bulk of the muscle itself. Now that I’m lifting heavy weights, my muscles have much more bulk. If I really focused on lifting I’m sure I could gain a pretty significant amount of lbs in muscle in 8 weeks… much more than would’ve been possible back when I was working with 5-15 lb free weights.

    • Sometimes it takes a while for it to show up. If you’re really concerned, you could count calories, but it sounds like you can see some progress.

    • Elevate the other benefits over weight loss in your mind- you are healthier, you feel better, you are stronger. The weight loss will come.

    • If you’re starting from a baseline with little activity, it can sometimes take awhile to start seeing results in the numbers on the scale. Like 2-3 months to start seeing scale movement is not super abnormal if you’re making gradual but consistent lifestyle changes. Your body needs time to recalibrate to new habits and the changes you’re imposing on it, which is especially true if you’re drinking a lot more water than you used to or have increased your protein levels or changed your level or type of physical activity.

      If your clothes are fitting better, that’s a great sign and you should be proud. The numbers on the scale will figure themselves out eventually.

    • Anon for this :

      Make sure you are incorporating strength training as part of your working out. My body has significantly changed for the better with strength training, even if the number on the scale hasn’t changed. The difference has been dramatic. check out the free videos online at Fitness Blender.

      Also consider intermittent fasting if you’re trying to lose pounds safely and quickly. No personal experience with this but my sister does it and lots of people here seem to do it as well.

    • Senior Attorney :

      The whole point of losing weight is to get smaller, right? Nobody can see the numbers on your scale — they can just see how you look! I would be beyond thrilled to be fitting into my tight clothes, regardless of the number on the scale!

      You ARE getting results!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Realizing this was really unartful and insensitive. The whole point of losing weight is to get smaller if you’re me. YVVM, of course.

        • FWIW, I really liked this perspective. For me, I want to lose weight to look smaller and fit into my clothes.

  20. Biglaw Associate :

    In line with the sunshine-related posts today, I’m in Singapore for a work trip and gosh it is HOT here. Not sure how I feel about 24/7 heat and humidity all year around but the sunshine does work wonders for your mood!

  21. I accepted a contract position yesterday. My start date is listed as next Monday (that’s not a full two weeks so I’m not sure why they chose that date). I bought non-refundable tickets to Alaska mid-June – I was not expecting to change jobs. My new contract position does not provide PTO. Since I can’t contact my new manager directly, should I ask the contract company to move my start date to after my AK trip? Or should I start asap and just ask my manager if I could take unpaid time off to take my trip? I’ve worked contract before but the contract company basically just wrote my paycheck – they did not dictate when I could take time off. I know this sounds kind of selfish but I’m trying to work this professionally and I have not taken time off in over a year. Do I just give up on the AK trip? My husband says I should still try to take it since I paid for it but I understand my new job probably doesn’t care. Just looking for your perspective.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Did you discuss a start date? If not, go back to the contract company and say that you’re not able to start on Monday and would prefer X date.

      • In my interview I mentioned the AK trip and that I would give the standard two weeks’ notice. I think it’s a simple miscommunication: company thought I would get an offer Monday so they said start two weeks from Monday. In reality the contractor didn’t bother sending me the paperwork til 4:30PM yesterday at which time I gave notice.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Oh, yeah, I would definitely go back to your contract company and let them handle this with your new manager. Just explain that you have a nonrefundable trip planned and ask that they coordinate with your new manager about whether the company would prefer for you to start on X date and take unpaid leave, or defer your start date until after your trip.

          • I called the contract company. They were very helpful and said 1) they are fine with me taking unpaid leave if the manager is (basically don’t sweat this right now) and 2) they would communicate about moving the start date but it should be nbd. Thanks for helping me draft a clear message so I didn’t sound like I was trying to get out of work. I’m really excited to start and it’s clouding my thinking (also toddler sleep issues = sleep deprived).

    • Let them make the decision.

      “Hi, I have non-refundable plane tickets for a trip to Alaska on (dates). Would you prefer that I take unpaid leave or start after that?”

  22. What are good minimalist, but supportive sneakers for weekend wear?

    • Nike Cortez :

      I bought some of the old school Nike Cortez and absolutely love them, although I despise Nike for actual running. :)

    • Anonymous :

      Skechers are SO comfy and there are tons of style options.

    • S in Chicago :

      Naturalizer. And if you still don’t find the support enough, the insoles are removable and you can swap in a sport one (or even orthotic if you ever become someone who needs one).

  23. Minnie Beebe :

    I also have fair skin and burn easily. You should absolutely use an umbrella or cabana. I always sit under something when I’m at the beach longer for maybe an hour. With my hat, sun shirt and pants on. (I’m that person!)

    I have a Patagonia sun shirt, with long sleeves and a hood. It’s light weight, easy to get on even over wet skin, dries easily. I just this year bought a pair of white linen palazzo-style pants at Old Navy, and they’re good enough for me, and cheap enough that I don’t care if they get gross.

    The Athleta shirts are also nice– I had one that got ruined (my fault!) and haven’t purchased a new one. But coverage is not as good as the Patagonia shirt.

    And yes to sunscreen applied before putting on the swimsuit (or just make sure to get sunscreen under all of your straps and edges. Reapply often while out there. I like Neutrogena SPF100– it does not rank well on the EWG list for safety, but it works well on my skin and successfully prevents me from getting burned.

    But really, staying in the shade as much as possible is the absolute best thing you can do.

  24. There is a senior exec (2 levels up from me) who always spells my name wrong (there are 2 common spellings of it). I’ve ignored it for years, but now we are going to work together more closely and frequently.

    What’s the best way to gently get him to spell my name right?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Gently correct him every time. If you like, the first time you can say “I haven’t mentioned it until now because this is a really common mistake, but now that we’re going to be working together I just wanted to bring it to your attention.”

      I would presume good intentions here — he undoubtedly just learned it wrong and will be glad to correct it, maybe with a reminder or two or three.

    • Option 1: have someone correct him for you. I had a Kirsten reporting to me, and I was the one correcting my peers and above that it was Kirsten, not Kristen or Kristina. Maybe bring it up to your boss or a boss’s peer you know well.

      Option 2: reply to an email with “actually, it’s Kirsten! :-)” then answer the email. This is personality dependent.

      Option 3: tell his admin

      Option4: tell him casually over drinks “hey so bye, my name is actually Kirsten, not Kristen.”

    • This happens to me constantly. I usually say the following in an email —

      Just a heads up, my name is actually spelled “Elenor”, not “Eleanor”. People mix it up all the time so it’s no problem, but I just wanted to let you know. Thanks!

      • The only time I ever got pushback on this was from a 70 year old geezer at my Big Law firm, who responded, “Thank you for letting me know. I will try to remember.” TRY?

        • Actually I spell it with two "Ls" :

          70 year old “geezers” who probably bring in their weight in $$ in receivables get to “try” to remember your name. Also, try to have a tiny bit of sympathy for the aging brain and the force of habit. I have a name that can be spelled one of three ways and went to work for a firm where another attorney spelled it one of the other ways. If I got bent out of shape and called people who could not remember ageist names, I would be in a world of hurt.

          • Nah, it’s about respect. It’s common courtesy to spell someone’s name correctly, especially after someone has pointed it out. Every other lawyer, whether young or old, has immediately apologized and never misspelled my name again.

          • Maybe spelling is something that comes more easily to them. Maybe you’re reading way too much into that partner’s comment.

            My name is misspelled more often than not. I just can’t make myself get worked up over it.

        • You realize that’s probably just a turn of phrase he used, right? Not a pronouncement on how important he thought this was?

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t get your complaint. I’m bad with names, and would not be surprised if I said try to remember in that context. I’m not saying I don’t care, I’m saying I’ll do my best to remember, but no promises. Just as I may not remember another staff member’s name if I only see that person once or twice a year

  25. 3rd year trial lawyer :

    How do you suss out the work culture of a firm? I am a lawyer and I understand I am supposed to have long hours but I do not plan to give up my life just because the profession I chose has crazy hours. I understand working late to meet deadlines but I am trying to fighting this culture of working to the bone. I may be a long soldier but I will continue this fight for as long as possible.

    At my first job I had to work a handful of weekends or late evenings in two years. At my current job, I am asked to stay as long as I can (with the expectation that I leave no earlier than 8pm) simply because there is “more to be done.” I finish all my work on time, meet all my deadlines, and deliver good products. I have happily stayed late nights for weeks in a row for pre-trial prep but refuse to do so when there is no need to do so because the workload is manageable within the work hours. I would like to avoid leaving this job just to get stuck in another similar situation. I am a hard worker and extremely dedicated to my work and looking to be some place that understand I have a life, treats me like an adult who can manage their own hours/workload. Am I asking for too much?

    • Your desires are reasonable, but unfortunately, some work places simply don’t run based on this definition of reasonable. Sounds like yours doesn’t. There *are* firms out there that do attempt to treat associates like you seem to want to be treated. Look for boutique litigation firms started by people who split off from large law firms because they hated the culture and wanted autonomy. Those are your people. You’ll eventually learn how to tell in interviews. Especially if you’re in biglaw, swimming upstream against firm culture is very unlikely to be successful. You may be “successful” for a while if your goals are to be a good employee and make hours, learn skills, and not make partner. But if your goals include making a career at that firm, being roped into significant career-building cases and client development opportunities (needed to make said career at that firm) then you will not likely achieve these things by under performing relative to your peers/firm expectations. Maybe this won’t be the case if you have something very significant to bring to the table- a client, a unique and valuable skillset, or you are so brilliant that partners will tolerate your “slacking.”

    • lawsuited :

      No, you’re not asking for too much, but firms that truly embrace balance for their associates are hard to find. I ask my interviewers about the expectations and follow up questions about the billable target (is 1800 the actual target or is it the minimum expectation), and then speak with associates (current and former) to find out what their reality is. I also always consider high turnover as a bad sign.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re also asking to be paid a biglaw salary, then yes – you are asking for too much. If you want to control your life, get some experience and open your own firm.

      • Anonymous :

        She didn’t say she was in biglaw. Seeing this attitude so much has me seriously considering leaving the legal profession. I am in biglaw now and expect and am fine with long hours. One day I would like to have a job where I can take a pay cut and work less. But I hear horror stories from friends in government getting paid less than 1/2 of what I make and working almost just as much. I’m starting to think that the profession of lawyers (at least in DC) just has a culture of working all the freaking time and if I don’t want that I may need to consider not being a lawyer any more. That’s sad because I like practicing law, I just want enough time off to run errands, exercise, and spend time with family.

        • Anonymous :

          There are many government and non-profit jobs that are 40 hours a week. You just have to be selective about the job, and it likely won’t be the most “important” or prestigious job. For example, I don’t know anyone at DOJ that works only 40 hours a week, but know few people at other agencies that work more than 40 hours a week.

      • Anonymous :

        Pushing back on this. There are firms (yes even Biglaw) that don’t expect you to stay late just for the sake of staying late. At my firm, are things insane sometimes? Yes. Do I stay every single night until at least 8pm just because there’s “more to do”? Absolutely not. When there’s a slow period you can bet I’m out the door at a reasonable hour. Partners do the same. There’s such a thing as unreasonable expectations even in biglaw. OP, I don’t think you’re asking too much at all.

        • I worked in BigLaw in NYC for 5 years. I had really crazy hours sometimes (all-nighters, weekends, staying past 10 or 11 pm for weeks on end, etc.), but when there wasn’t a NEED to stay I could just leave.
          It was not a face time type of place. I had a slow month where I worked from home 2 days a week and left around 5 p.m. on other days, and it was totally fine (in part b/c I billed almost 300 hours the month before that…). Same with partners and other associates, even the ones gunning for partner. There are plenty of firms like this. Granted, my overall hours for the year were always super high b/c of the busier periods, and it was a very stressful job, and I left for a reason… but when things were slower I enjoyed it! You just need to find a firm that doesn’t require face time.

    • 3rd year trial lawyer :

      Op here- not in big law. First job was an associate at a legal clinic, this job is in a small private firm.

      If I was in Biglaw I would have gone understanding I am on-call, expected to work insane hours but that I get a pay to match it. A close friend in big law has a more flexible schedule than me where she is allowed to come in late after the end of a project or work from home when they know they are in between projects.

      I am talking about law culture in general. I am young so hoping that maybe one-by-one we can fight against this unrealistic expectation that we are meant to have no lives if we are lawyers. I have a leave-time of 6:30 at my firm which I try to stick to. Having rest makes me ready for a productive day the next, staying late makes me tired, less productive, and less motivated to get my work done in the time because I have to be staying late anyway.

  26. It’s quite possible that even if you tell him directly “hey, it’s Michelle with two L’s” it might not help. Does he have an assistant who can periodically remind him to check spelling of names, especially Michelle’s name since people often misspell it?

  27. Anonymous :

    Any idea of where I can find work (law, in house) appropriate floral dresses, knee or mid length, short to 3/4 length sleeve? Not fit and flare; more in the sheath shape (although definitely not body con). I can picture it in my head but not find online!

  28. Anything here work? Just searched floral (trending), day dresses… a lot to pick through?

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